Monthly Archives: January 2016

Book Review: Believarexic by J.J. Johnson

I have published a few posts that were inspired by my reading of the book Believarexic by J.J. Johnson already. I didn’t share many opinions on the book itself though. Early this morning, I finished the book, so I’d like to post a review. This review contains some spoilers.

Synopsis

Fifteen-year-old Jennifer has to force her family to admit she needs help for her eating disorder. But when her parents sign her into the Samuel Tuke Center,
she knows it’s a terrible mistake. The facility’s locked doors, cynical nurses, and punitive rules are a far cry from the peaceful, supportive environment
she’d imagined. In order to be discharged, Jennifer must make her way through the strict treatment program – as well as harrowing accusations, confusing half-truths, and startling insights. She is forced to examine her relationships, both inside and outside the hospital. She must relearn who to trust, and decide for herself
what “healthy” really means.

Punctuated by dark humor, gritty realism, and profound moments of self-discovery, Believarexic is a stereotype-defying exploration of belief and human connection.

Review

This book is an autobiographical novel. The author describes this quite poignantly at the end of the book as “true make-believe”. What this means is that the author did really get inpatient treatment for her eating disorder in 1988 and 1989, but the details and characters may’ve been changed or simplified. I haven’t yet checked the bonus material, so I cannot be sure whether some of the pretty intriguing events in the book did really happen. For instance, one of Jennifer’s fellow patients is signed out by her parents because they don’t believe the program is working. They decide instead to take her to an orthodontist to have her mouth wired shut. Even though this book takes place in the dark ages of the 1980s, I find it hard to believe such a procedure would be legal even then. I do still see the stark contrast between psychiatric treatment then versus now.

Sometimes, I find that characters have been oversimplified in terms of them being either good or bad. Dr. Prakash, Jennifer’s psychiatrist, is nice from the beginning to end, whereas nurse Sheryl aka Ratched is bitchy and controling throughout the book. Still, some characters make quite a transition through the book, and there are incredible twists and turns.

The book starts out a bit triggering with for example the hierarchy of eating disorders being quite extreme. Nonetheless, this book is clearly pro-recovery. At the end of the book, the author encourages people who even have an inkling of an idea that they might have an eating disorder to seek help. As may’ve become clear through some of my previous posts inspired by this book, Belieivarexic led me to some interesting insights.

Book Details

Title: Believarexic
Author: J.J. Johnson
PUlbisher: Peachtree Publishers (eBook by Open Road Media)
Publication Date: October 2015

For more information on the book and its author and for resources for people with eating disorders, go to Believarexic.com.

When I Started Self-Harming

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my disordered eating and self-injury issues. I’ve written a few posts about my disordered eating already. Today, I want to discuss self-injury. As a thought starter, I’m using question one from the 30-day self-injury challenge. It’s about when you started self-harming.

I started self-harming when I was very young. Until I was a teen, my self-harm looked more like that of the stereotypical low-functioning autistic person. I often banged my head and bit my hands. It was possibly in part self-stimulatory or stereotypical behavior, but I also self-harmed when I was frustrated. Now that I’m an adult, I still bang my head or bite my hands when frustrated on occasion.

I started cutting when I was sixteen-years-old, although I didn’t do it that often and the wounds were more scratches than cuts. I was somewhat depressed at the time and struggling with mood swings, low self-esteem and anxiety.

By the time I started independence training at the age of nineteen, it got worse. The wounds didn’t get that much worse, but I did cut more often, sometimes daily. One of the reasons was I had more opportunities. Before then, I’d use ordinary table knives that were my parents’. In the independence training home, I still used kitchen appliances, but they were sharper and within easier reach. I never had the opportunity to buy razor blades or whatever other tools other self-harmers use. Part of the reason my self-harm worsened, though, was I started struggling more as expectations increased.

I never went to great lengths to hide my self-harm wounds. That may get some people to believe I did it for attention. I personally still don’t know how to hide fresh wounds and being blind might’ve contributed to my not realizing people would notice. I never drew attention to my wounds or scars and was usually avoidant when confronted with them.

Now, still, when I self-injure, I try not to make a big deal out of it. When I tell my staff, I tell them pretty matter-of-factly unless I’m still melting down. I do on occasion freak out about my own self-injury, in which case I do tell the staff. I don’t tend to talk over the issues that got me to self-injure unless I’m still having the issues when I get to talk to staff.

Of course, writing a blog post (or more) about the subject can be seen as attention-seeking. Quite frankly, I don’t care. I have now only been free from self-injury for four days since my last slip-up. Some people count the days they’ve been free in total, rather than the days since their last slip-up. I like that, and it leads to a much more optimistic outcome. After all, I self-injure only once in a while now. I don’t cut or bite or bang nearly as often as I binge.

Disordered Eating: A Cry for Help

One day when I was probably in seventh grade, I read an audio magazine for blind teens. It was really a mixture of its own content with content from other teen magazines read aloud. One of the articles from another magazine was about an eating disorders unit. I just remembered this as I read a passage in J.J. Johnson’s Believarexic, in which Jennifer remembers learning about anorexia for the first time in fifth grade and wondering how the celebrity who died of it, got as skinny as she did. Later on, Jennifer learns about people being hospitalized for eating disorders. She envies them because of their size but also because of the attention they get.

This hit home with me. Back in seventh grade, I had already firmly embarked on the binge eating boat, but since I was at a healthy weight for my age and height, I didn’t notice my eating had spiraled out of control already. I remember once, probably in the same year, being confronted by my classmates about getting five candy bars out of the vending machine and eating them all in one sitting. However, I just got annoyed and didn’t realize that my classmates may have wanted to protect me from unhealthful choices.

We didn’t learn about binge eating disorder or compulsive overeating in health class. All we learned about eating disorders was about anorexia and bulimia. I even did one of my gifted program projects on these eating disorders. I didn’t tell anyone that, as I was writing the paper, I was trying to figure out how I could become anorexic.

No, I didn’t “want” anorexia, like some teens say they do. No-one consciously decides to develop an eating disorder. But I did want the perseverance that I perceived anorexics had. So I began keeping food diaries. This was before I had access to the Internet and I couldn’t read packaging, so I couldn’t check calories. In truth, as I look back at my food diaries of the time, they show a pretty typical overeater’s pattern. But I wanted to have some control over my food intake by keeping these diaries. Not that it worked, of course. Over the years, my binge eating got worse.

Back to the article about the eating disorders unit. For some reason, I felt compelled to be like these patients. I don’t know whether it was pure attention-seeking. I mean, I got plenty of attention from my parents and teachers. What I might’ve been missing was someone who saw how much I was struggling. Maybe, if I became anorexic, they’d see how miserable I was.

The other day, I had a meeting with my psychologist. She wa spushing me to take steps towards independence in preparation for my move in with my husband. I can’t remember whether she said so, but she gave me the impression that she felt I was doing better because I had much fewer meltdowns and emotional outbursts. In truth, I may be a little better, but I still have a pretty miserable life and feel pretty crap. Instead of becoming self-destructive or aggressive, I lie in bed or resort to overeating. A fair quality of life is not just not being a pain in the neck, but also being able to experience pleasure every once in a while. It isn’t that I never do, but it’s quite rare that I do things that bring me any sort of satisfaction. For example, I don’t craft nearly as much as I used to, because I can’t handle the noise and crowdedness at day activities.

I was also telling my psychologist that I’m completely dependent on my treatment team. What I meant was close to the exact opposite: I have no control over what goals are set for me, but it is my sole responsibility to reach them.

In a sense, maybe this whole disordered eating thing is a way of showing peope I need help. It sounds so pathetic though: someone who’s nearly thirty-years-old needing to be taken care of like a little child. IN truth though, often I feel that vulnerable.

Fighting My Disordered Eating

“Fight” is one of the writing prompts from Mama’s Losin’ It for this week. The first thing that came to mind as I reflect on this word is my fight against my eating disorder tendencies. This fight has been on my mind a lot lately.

Last week, had a bad binge and then in the evening, a fellow patient gave us cake. A nurse was joking about all the calories in the cake, poking my tummy as she asked: “Do you want whipped cream on your cake?” This was extremely triggering to me. At first, I thought “screw you” and decided to indeed get whipped cream on my cake. As time went by and I ruminated on what had happened, the nurse’s words and actions took on a life of their own, causing me to doubt my will to recover from binge eating. Not that I didn’t want to lose weight, but my initial instinct was to move back in the direction of bulimia by starting to purge again.

I later told the nurse that what had happened had been immensely triggering and she assured me that she’d just been fooling around a bit. Usually, this nurse has quite good ideas for helping me recovr from my disordered eating tendencies, so I took no further offense.

This doesn’t mean the doubts about how to fight my obesity have gone. In fact, the only thing holding me back from starting to purge again is my chronic heartburn, for which I’m getting an upper GI endoscopy done to see what might be wrong. I don’t have that long of a history of purging, but that doesn’t mean that the purging I did do can’t have caused damage. It certainly won’t get better if I resort back to purging now.

However, eating disorders are not just about preserving one’s health. After all, they often do the exact opposite. There is this hierarchy in eating disorders where restrictive anorexics rank as most perseverant and stubborn, followed by binge/purge anorexics, bulimics depending on their weight and the biggest losers (no pun intended) are the compulsive overeaters. In other words, as someone who suffers from binge eating only, I’m a total failure of an eating disorder sufferer. Yet I am not just an eating disorder sufferer, I am a person who happens to have disordered eating tendencies and who wants to fight these tendencies.

This hierarchy of the eating disordered is, however, also reflected in how seriously I take myself and am taken by other people with regard to my disordered eating tendencies. When I still purged, my GP put in my file that I had bulimia. I didn’t – bulimia has very strict criteria that I didn’t meet -, but it was in my records nonetheless. Now that I probably do meet the criteria of binge eating disorder, I’m commonly seen as just a little overweight at best and as an unmotivated, lazy fatass at worst. It’s probably crazy that I’d rather be seen as sick than lazy.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Fifty Years From Now

In the future… This is this week’s prompt from Finish the Sentence Friday. The future could be next week or next month or next year or fifty years from now. As I am currently in a bit of an anxious mood regarding my physical health, I am more than aware of my finite existence here on earth. This however also got me to buy a book, really to distract myself but it ties in nicely with the theme, about women who survived breast cancer twenty to fifty years past diagnosis. (No, I don’t think I have breast cancer.) Even though I am not the healthiest person in the world, it is very well possible that I’ll live for fifty more years. For this post, I am going to pretend I am 79 and look back at my life.

It is currently 2066. I am 79. I have lived a much longer life than as a twentysomething I expected to. There have been many times I thought I wouldn’t live for another year. Yet here I am in old age.

I look back on a happy marriage with my husband. We have been living in our home in the tiny village for fifty years. When the housing corporation wanted to get rid of it and my husband earned enough money, we bought the house. It now has a bathtub, which was pretty much the only thing I wanted to get added to its interior fifty years ago. Of course, now that I’m old and my mobility is failing, I can’t use it anymore.

I look back on a nice volunteering career for myself. In fact, I still volunteer. I am a language-learning buddy for an immigrant, just like my grandma was when she was my age. I haven’t earned any sort of royal recognition, but that could be because I changed volunterring careers so often I can’t say I’ve served a particular community for long enough. nO, that was a joke. If I live for another twenty years, five months and twelve days, I’ll meet the mayor because of my 100th birthday. I do plan to live that long now that I got this far, just like my grandma did, only without the cognitive decline please.

Speaking of fame though, I did get some international recognition by publishing my memoir. It wasn’t titled Some Former Preemies Will Go to University after all, because that title was ironic, referring to my lack of successful college studies. As it turned out, I did earn a college degree. It was in language and cultural studies at the university I tried studying linguistics at too. The same professor still taught the intro to linguistics class that I had completed half of just before I ended up in the psychiatric hospital in 2007. Since I didn’t go to graduate school, my sister is still the only one of our generation to have earned a Master’s degree. I don’t care about that graduate degree though, as I mostly studied for the fun of it and to prove myself that I could. After graduating, I now regularly attend sit-in classes in education, psychology and sociology. My heart’s still with the social sciences, but I still can’t do statistics.

I just mentioned the psychiatric hospital. It’s a place I’d rather not revisit. Its treatment methods have “advanced” to a level worse than they were 100 years ago. Instead of getting a sembleance of care, psychiatric patients are just drugged into submission. We have better psychiatric drugs now, at least by the sane population’s standards. There are more of them too and much more people taking them, whether they want it or not. Unfortunately, the neurodiversity and mad pride movements are dead now. The curebies got their way. I can’t say society is a better place for it.

Technolgy has evolved quite a bit in the last fifty years, obviously. I can now easily take pictures with a camera that gives me spoken directions. Oh, this probably doesn’t sound that advanced to my 29-year-old self, but it opened quite the world to me. There are great imaging tools that work with screen readers now. Still doesn’t sound advanced, but I lost pace with technology several decades ago. Even though I was pretty tech savvy as a teen, I was quite a bit behind fifty years ago already, let alone now. Thankfully, I did learn to use a smartphone or I would’ve lost track much sooner than I did. My husband still keeps pace with technology, of course. He’s 77 now and “drives” an autonomous car. He didn’t like it at first, but now that he’s getting old himself, he finds it quite relaxing.

As I look back to 2016, I’m glad I made the choices I made that year. It took more than just 2016 to get physically healthy, but I did set my first steps in the right direction. I also finally left the psychiatric institution. As I said, it isn’t a nice place now, so I’m so glad I left before it deteriorated. Besides, if I hadn’t, I might not have lived this life with my husband.

Making Myself Try New Foods

One of the January prompts from The SITS Girls is about getting your kids to try new foods. Now I for one don’t have kids and don’t have to make anyone try new foods, except for myself. You see, as much as I overeat, I am still a very picky eater.

I am oversensitive in many ways, but taste is an exception. I can’t stand bland foods and can handle much more hot and spicey food than most people I know. I also crave foods with some bite to them. The Dutch are known for their mashed foods. I can’t stand those.

In the institution, we commonly get quite bland foods. Even Asian foods are hardly spiced up and we get mashed potatoes at east three times a week. As a result, I don’t eat my dinner almost half the time. That is, occasionally I try to make myself eat some mash, and I usually do eat the vegetables even if they’re too overcooked for my taste.

I do try new foods every now and again though. I mean, as a child I hated spicey food and when I first learned to cook, I often overcooked my vegetables. A few weeks ago, when my husband and I were eating out, he had me try a bit from his smoked sausage. I actually liked it, though I had tried some of the institution’s smoked sausage a few weeks prior and couldn’t make myself like it at all.

I also used to be, and probably still am extremely picky wen it comes to my likes or dislikes for certain brands of food. I remember when I was about five ad in the hospital, my parents brought their supermarket’s brand of peanut butter because I wouldn’t eat the premium brand. I have now grown to like this brand of peanut butter and put it on my bread a few times a week.

When my husband cooks something unfamiliar to me, I always make myself try it. This sometiems leads to awkward situations when my husband believes he’s cooked something I’d love, and I turn out to dislike it. I am not one to be able to pretend I like a food that I really don’t. For example, though I loved the rest of my husband’s Christmas dinner last year, it was probably obvious I didn’t like the potato gratin. This was actually disappointing to me, because I had expected to like it.

I usually end up making the final dinner decision when my husband and I are together. This may change when we go live together. After all, we can’t eat pasta or noodles all week (althugh I wouldn’t mind) and pizza, fries or pancakes aren’t very healthy. I guess I’ll need to make myself eat mash. Then again, I don’t want to disappoint my husband by showing my dislike for it.

Bar of Expectations #MondayMusings

Last week, I was readig the book Believarexic by J.J. johnson. I have not been able to get far into the book, because I got easily triggered. The book is about a girl, Jennifer, probably the author as a teen, who has an eating disorder. She eventually decides to tell her parents and have her Mom call a hospital for help. At the intake interview, Jennifer’s Mom is skeptical that Jennifer really has an eating disorder and isn’t just seeking attention. The psychologist tells them that only time will tell whether Jennifer’s eating disorder is legitimate. Legitimate. As if it were some rite of passage. In the hospital world of course, it is: without a mental illness, you aren’t admitted to a psychiatric unit.

This all reminds me of my own experience being admitted into the psychiatric hospital in 2007. The psychiatrist had to practically make up a diagnosis to get me admitted. That is, she diagnosed me with an adjustment disorder, which is really an extreme, debilitating reaction to stress. It is serious, but it is not a severe mental illness. Basic health insurance in the Netherlands as of 2012 no longer covers care for it. Of course, there are exceptions. I was suicidal, so I probably would still get care under these new insurance guidelines.

The story goes on with Jennifer being admitted to the eating disorders unit. One of the rules of the unit is patients having to resign complete responsibility over their eating habits. That was another trigger. In today’s treatment models, patients are usually required to take a lot of responsibility for themselves. Certainly patients with eating disorders are. So are patients with, well, borderline personality disorder, which is what I’m diagnosed with.

It isn’t that I’d like to resign all my responsibility. In truth, if I could, I’d be completely self-reliant. But I can’t, and I’m stuck in the middle between self-reliance and dependence. This is terribly hard. It means I constantly need to negotiate the right kind of help and the right level of independence and assistance.

Today, as I was on the edge of a meltdown, I told a nurse I’d rather be sent to the locked ward and stay there for the rest of my life. Regardless fo the fact that no-one can just stay on a locked ward without any sort of participation in their treatment being expected of them, I’ve not had good experiences on locked units. I rather meant that I’d finally like to make a choice between being completely self-reliant and responsible and being completely dependent. As I can’t choose complete independence, I’d choose dependence instead.

More so, I don’t want people’s expectations to constantly exceed my abilities so much. Currently, I’m constantly reaching for a bar of expectations that, no matter how high on my toes I stand, I just can’t reach. I’m thinking of jumping to the bar so high I fall flat on my face. Then at least people have to lower the bar.

#MondayMusings

Success

One of last year’s NaBlPoMo prompts for January challenges us to write about a time we were particularly successful at achieving your goals. Since I always made long lists of new yer’s and birthday goals each year, far too long to keep up with, I never succeeded at keeping my resolutions. That doesn’t mean I’ve never been successful. Today, I’m sharing some ways in which I’ve been successful in life.

1. Education. It may’ve been over ten years ago, but I am still proud of the fact that I earned a hig level high school diploma from a mainstream school. I am prouder now that I know most people don’t attach expectations of my current functioning to it. I mean, when I had just fallen apart in 2007, at every phone call to my family, if I wasn’t moaning about my crisis state, or even if I was, I’d be asked when I was going to find myself a job. Now that it’s pretty much known that I won’t find myself a job anytime soon, or most likely anytime, I can celebrate my successful education as the achievement it was. It shows that, deep down, I have some perseverance. Sometimes I credit my parents for this, but it was I who wrote in my journal, a month into high school, that I hated it but regardless I wanted to complete this level of education.

2. Blogging. I still have a blog post in the works about why blindness sucks sometimes, and one of the reasons is I can’t seem to compete on equal footing with sighted people in the visually-driven world of social media. The thing is, I am still a pretty successful blogger, because I’ve been able to keep up a blog for nearly 2 1/2 years now (and four years with my old one). I also get a fair bit of interaction from my blog. Most of all, I do what I love and I love what I do with regards to blogging. I don’t get more joy (or traffic) from posts that have pictures in them than from those that don’t. I think, in a sense, of course I am not a great blogger in the bigger scheme of things, but I’m much more successful now than I was with my old blog.

3. Relationships. I often credit my husband for our successful marriage, but of course, it comes from both direcitons. I can say that one of only a few borderline personality disorder traits I don’t have is disloyalty in relationships. It feels a bit narcissistic to chalk this up as a success, because ideally no-one is unfaithful. I could go on to chalk up the whole fact of my marriage as a success, but that sounds even worse. Then again, this whole post could be seen as a bit self-centered. Let me just say my husband is hugely successful at keeping me as his wife, too. Oh crap, that sounds horrible.

4. Little things in life. I remember once getting an assignment for reading comprehension in like fourth grade about a kid who was in regular education and his brother, a special ed kid with intellectual disabilities. It was said that this brother was successful if he tore a piece of paper. This is of course ahuge stereotype of people with intellectual disabilities, but I mean it to illustrate that success can be found in little things. Like my blogging success, my success in many other areas is relative. I can make coffee with some help. I can put my dry laundry into the closet. I can clean my desk if reminded of it. These could be seen as just as useless to a non-disabled person as tearing a piece of paper. So what?

In this category also fall the daily successes that people without disabilities should also be celebrating. For example, I spent fifteen minutes on the elliptical today and have been exercising four out of six days this year so far. Celebrating this daily success can help us stay focused on the positive and reach our long-term goals. What have you been successful at today?

New Year, New Word for 2016

Last year, my word for the year was “nurture”. Because it means so many things, I can say that I more or less followed this theme. For example, I bought some new beauty products that I’ve been eagerly using. I also started up yoga, although I haven’t been practising much lately.

In other ways, however, I didn’t really nurture myself. I kept on overeating, maybe even worse than in 2014. The beginning of 2016 isn’t good in this department either.

When it comes to my word for this year, unlike last year, one hasn’t been on my mind for a long time. In fact, I am still not sure that this word is the one I should choose. It sounds a bit vague. The word is “progress”. Related words, like “move” and “forward”, have been going through my mind too, but “progress” seems better.

In some ways, we always make progress. We progress through life, whether we move forward or not. We get older, after all. Progress doesn’t necessarily mean positive change. A progressive disease gets worse, after all.

So am I setting myself up for failure, or for guaranteed success, by being as vague as I am with this choice of words? Possibly. ONly time will tell.

I will, however, share what I think progress means when applied to what’s going to happen in 2016. Firstly, it means moving forward on the road I’ve embarked on. In some respects, I should not wish to do this. LIke, I gained weight in 2015 and should definitely not follow along on this route.

I mostly mean progress in terms of my move out of the psychiatric institution. I need to keep progressing on this route towards independence. Way too often, I'm tempted to just give up and go back into my comfort zone. I need to remind myself that this is the year to take leaps forward, to grow, to progress. They don't need to be huge leaps. Sometimes, they can be tiny steps. But the road has been paved and I'll follow it.

I just realized too that “progress” can mean continuing to follow the path I’ve embarked on in 2015. Like I said, I didn’t nurture myself in every respect, but I did in some. For 2016, I need to continue pursuing self-care, which was my word for 2014. I need to continue nurturing myself, which was my word for 2015. I ned to progress along the road I’ve paved for myself.

Mama’s Losin’ It

New Year’s Resolutions for 2016 (Plus Looking Back at 2015)

Happy 2016! I just returned from spending new year’s at my parents’ and am quite tired. I had fun but also felt pretty easily overloaded while there, so much so that the turn of the year went by in a bit of a blur. So it’s 2016. I keep typing 2015, then when I try to correct myself I type 2017. It’s not because I don’t know what year it is, but simply that my fingers are not used to typing the year 2016 yet.

During 2015, I made new year’s resolutions at the start of the year and set monthly goals at various times of the year. I rarely followed through and hardly ever looked back. Today, however, I am going to look back at my 2015 new year’s goals and also discuss my goals for the new year.

1. Blogging. I resolved to blog at least twice a week in 2015. This was mostly a success. When illness or stress got in the way, I blogged less often, but when I felt well, I often blogged more. I also participated in two month-long blog challenges: #AtoZChallenge in April and #Write31Days in October. For 2016, I will continue to attempt to blog twice a week when physical and mental health permit it. I will give blog challenges some more thought, as they were fun in 2015 but not as rewarding as I’d imagined they’d be. I can’t wait to discover and connect with new bloggers this year.

There wasn’t a year that I started and dropped more blog-related projects than in 2015. I mostly messed with three or four versions of my Dutch blog, but also had the Recovery Bloggers Network running for a week or so when I got the flu and gave up. In 2016, I hope to give blog-related projects more thought before starting them and then giving up.

2. Writing. I resolved to journal more, possibly offline. This has not been a success. I tried several journaling solutions, including good ol’ Notepad, EverNote and various pieces of journaling software. However, the problem seemed to be I couldn’t make a commitment to journaling offline regularly. This may be because of my drive to overshare everything I create. I will give journaling some more priority in 2016, but it might just be online.

3. Crafting. I resolved to improve my polymer clay modeling skills and invest in an art journal. The art journal idea is still on my mind, but it’s been for several years and, like the offline journal, never got off the ground. I did work some more with polymer clay, but can’t say I quite improved. I learned a few bead-making skills, but didn’t really put a lot of effort into it. I also tried several other crafts, like loom knitting and crochet, but quit pretty soon. For 2016, I resolve to find a craft I can commit to practising regularly.

4. Reading. In 2015, I resolved to finish some books I’d started reading in 2014. This goal can be ticked off. I also resolved to focus my reading more on juvenile fiction and autobiographies rather than more academic non-fiction. This did indeed happen. For 2016, I hope to continue this trend.

5. Fitness. This was a massive fail. I resolved to lose five to ten kilograms but instead gained a few. I also resolved to lessen my binge eating, which I also failed at miserably. I did start exercising again, but not regularly enough. For 2016, I am still hoping I can lessen the binges. I plan to get into a more regular exercise routine. I hope to get my BMI under 30 at least, which requires me to lose about five kilograms.

6. Mental health. In 2015, I hoped to find a PRN medication or other way of averting crises that are inevitable. About a month ago, my psychiatrist said that my current PRN medication is the best choice for me, because the only thing that works better in most people are benzodiazepines. Since I have both personal and familial history of benzo addiction/dependence, my psychiatrist is not willing to put me on a benzodiazepine. I unfortunately have not been able to find any other strategies either, although it seems as though my crises have become significantly less frequent. For 2016, I’m just hoping I can stay relatively stable amidst the stress of moving in with my husband. I am resolving to get my crisis prevention plan updated for the home situation.

7. Housing. In 2015, I resolved to find out where I would be living after discharge from the institution. I have decided to go live with my husband, but I’ve not yet found out whether I’ll truly be able to make that transition. I am pretty sure that regardless I’ll be discharged this year, so I’m resolving to make the transition go smoothly.

8. Relationships. I didn’t have any real goals other than continuing to love and stay married to my husband. I’ll tick that off as a success, obviously and make the same resolution for 2016.

Mr and Mrs T Plus Three